“An internal report, obtained by Military.com through a Freedom of Information Act request, shows that gang members were tied to dozens of Army felony law enforcement reports and more than 100 criminal investigations in fiscal 2018, the latest year for which data is available. While these reports and investigations make up less than 1% of all Army law enforcement incidents, the new report shows that the little-discussed problem of military gang activity continues to be a headache for base commanders and other service leaders.”
“Lavena Johnson was a smart, witty woman, born and raised in Missouri. Her senior year of high school she decided she would join the Army in an effort to not burden her parents with out of state tuition for college. Although Dr. Johnson (Lavena’s dad), begged her not to join the Army – she did so anyway. She thought the Army was a good deal – you serve your country a few years and then you get 4 years of college paid! Recruiters promised her she would likely not deploy, even though in 2004 there was an uptick in deployed troops.”
Listen to Ep 40: Did Lavena Johnson commit suicide? on the Military Murder Podcasthere.
“U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and I recently announced that we will offer the bipartisan Military Justice Improvement Act as an amendment to this year’s National Defense Authorization Act. The Military Justice Improvement Act would professionalize how the military prosecutes serious crimes by moving the decision over whether to prosecute them to independent, trained, professional military prosecutors.
Despite years of Congressional reforms, thousands of service members are raped and sexually assaulted every year. In many of those cases, the assailant is someone in the survivor’s own chain of command. Only a small fraction of the perpetrators are ever held accountable for their violent crimes. Last year, the Department of Defense announced a record number of sexual assaults reported by or against service members, and yet, less than 10 percent of cases considered for command action ever proceeded to trial. Worse yet, despite repeated efforts to stamp out the scourge of retaliation against military sexual assault survivors, the most recent Pentagon survey found that 64 percent of survivors say they have experienced some form of retaliation for reporting the crime. That figure is statistically unchanged from 2016.”
Fort Hood Army Pfc. Brandon Scott Rosecrans, 27, of Kimberling City, Missouri, was found dead on the southern edge of Harker Heights, Texas on May 18, 2020. Brandon Rosecrans’ was a shooting victim and his body was found along Fuller Lane just north of the western end of Stillhouse Hollow Lake. His orange-colored 2016 Jeep Renegade was discovered on fire about four miles from his body. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Harker Heights Fire Marshal. Pfc. Rosecrans served as a quartermaster and chemical equipment repairer with the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division since November 2018. Pfc. Rosecrans enlisted in the Army in May 2018.
Harker Heights, Texas, Police Chief Phillip Gadd reported that following a preliminary investigation, they’ve determined that Brandon Rosecrans died from a gunshot wound and that his death was being investigated as a murder. The murder and arson investigations are being run concurrently by the Harker Height’s police and fire departments and the U.S. Army CID. According to the Army CID, the Harker Heights Police Department is the lead investigative agency for Brandon Rosecrans’ death. Anyone with information, “no matter how insignificant it may seem,” is asked to come forward and contact Army CID, the military police or their local law enforcement agency.
“The Harker Heights Police Criminal Investigation Division is asking anyone with information about this murder to contact them at 254-953-5400. Individuals may also provide information to Crime Stoppers at 254-526-TIPS (8477) or go online at www.bellcountycrimestoppers.com. All information is confidential and anonymous and if your tip leads to the arrest of the person(s) responsible, you could be eligible to receive a reward up to $1,000 in cash.” -Harker Heights PD Press Release (May 19, 2020)
On August 5th, 2020, Brandon Olivares was charged with the murder of Brandon Rosecrans. Estrellia “Star” Falcon was charged with using Rosecran’s Jeep & hindering prosecution. See media updates and affidavit below.
In the News:
Man found dead in Harker Heights identified as Fort Hood soldier Pfc. Brandon Rosecrans -KWKT FOX44 (May 20, 2020)
Digital First Video: Parents of Brandon Rosecrans -KOLR10 News (May 28, 2020)
Army Pfc. Brandon Rosecrans’ Funeral in Kimberling City
His vehicle was found on fire 15 mins after he was found about 4 miles away. Let help get brandon justice. His reward is only 1000 it needs upped. Also his service if you want to pay your respect and watch. -A thin line between Love and homicide (June 29, 2020)
Pfc. Brandon Rosecrans was found dead near his burning Jeep a short drive from the base, killed by a gunshot wound. Police and Army investigators are now investigating the death as a possible murder. -Military Times (July 1, 2020)
Brandon Michael Olivares was charged with the murder of Brandon Rosecrans and had a bond set at $1 million. -KCEN News (August 6, 2020)
A Killeen couple is in jail after Pfc. Brandon Rosecrans, a 27-year-old Fort Hood soldier, was murdered in May. KTBC FOX 7 Austin (August 19, 2020)
Fort Hood Press Center Press Release for Pfc. Brandon Rosecrans (Editor’s Note: Fort Hood will delete this press release, hence the reason it’s been preserved)
Harker Heights Police Department Press Release for Brandon Rosecrans
Fort Hood Army Spc. Shelby Tyler Jones, 20, was shot at a night club near the post and discovered dead about a half a mile away at Mickey’s Convenience Store in Killeen, Texas in the early morning hours of March 1, 2020. According to a press release issued by the Killeen Police Department, officers immediately began performing life-saving measures while they waited for emergency medical services to arrive. Shelby Jones succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Daryl Peters. Peters ordered an autopsy to be performed at the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas, Texas. During the Killeen PD investigation, they determined the shooting happened about 40 minutes earlier at Club Dreams. Police are still searching for the shooter, but they said they are investigating Jones’ death as a homicide.
Shelby Jones served in the U.S. Army for almost three years. He and his wife resided in Temple, Texas, while he served at nearby Ft. Hood. He is survived by his wife, parents, and two siblings. According to a Fort Hood press release, Spc. Jones is from Jena, Louisiana and entered the Army after high school in May 2017 as a cavalry scout. He joined Fort Hood’s 3rd Cavalry Regiment in August 2018 and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve from May 2018 to January 2019. Homicide detectives determined that Jones was shot at Club Dreams on S. Fort Hood Street and are asking anyone who was at the club that night and may have seen anything or have information to contact Detective Uvalle at 254-501-8854 or the Bell County Crime Stoppers at 254-526-TIPS (8477).
“We are asking anyone who may have seen anything or has information about this murder, to contact Crime Stoppers at 254-526-TIPS (8477) or go online at http://www.bellcountycrimestoppers.com. You can also download the P3Tips App for IOS or Android and give an anonymous tip. All information is confidential and anonymous and if your tip leads to the arrest of the person(s) responsible, you could be eligible to receive a reward up to $1,000 in cash.” –Killeen PD Press Release
Killeen Police Department Press Release for Shelby Jones (March 1, 2020)
Fort Hood Press Release for Death of Shelby Tyler Jones (screenshot of press release because Fort Hood will delete this)
“In August of 2007, Kamisha Block was killed by friendly fire while serving in Iraq – or that was what her family was told. Her family uncovered several lies by the U.S. Army and ultimately learned that Kamisha was murdered. Why did the military lie to the Block family? This is a story about domestic abuse, murder, a military cover-up, and the relentless pursuit of justice by the Block family.” –Kamisha Block, Murderific True Crime Podcast (December 8, 2019)
After a woman reports that she and her husband were attacked by a pair of assailants, authorities in Oregon launch an investigation into the crime and unravel a complex scheme. -Hazelynn Stomps, Snapped (S26,E13)
In 2016, 33-year-old Tricia Todd was reported missing after failing to pick up her daughter from a babysitter. As her family hoped and prayed, investigators found her online journal that revealed the true horror of what had happened. -Beauty for Ashes, The Object of Murder (S1,E1)
Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.
When a deadly rumor is stirred up among friends and acquaintances, it sets off an explosion of brutal violence so gruesome that not even a house fire can hide the truth. Who could have wanted Jeffrey Wheatley dead, and what was his roomate hiding? -Valerie Nessler, Snapped (October 31, 2019)
Wendy Fishburn, sister of Jeff Wheatley, says she “absolutely does not believe in closure” in regard to her brother’s murder. In 2010, Wheatley was shot, stabbed and set on fire after a man named Robert Turner became falsely convinced Wheatley had killed his older brother more than a decade prior. -Valerie Nessler, Snapped (November 4, 2019)